Lessons from Resisting Change
by Linda-Ann Stewart
Resistance to change is a normal part of being human. It's natural, even if what you're resisting is the very thing you need to do for your progress, health and happiness. Most people don't like their status quo disrupted or to be forced out of their comfort zone. But change is the order of the universe, and resisting it just brings frustration and suffering.
There's a saying that, "What you resist, persists." This means that the energy that you're putting into resisting makes the undesired change become stronger. It's like a tug-o-war. You're putting all your attention into not being pulled from your spot, which means you aren't thinking of alternatives. What if you let go of the rope, and started considering how to turn the situation to your advantage?
Learn from Your Resistance
You resist whenever you procrastinate, use busy work to avoid doing something else, are confused, or refuse to commit to a decision. Generally, resistance is fear based. You're afraid of the loss, unknown, discomfort, or difficulty that you think change will bring. But when you resist moving forward, you close down opportunities and possibilities.
There are lessons to be learned from resistance. The way you resist shows how you sabotage yourself and hold yourself back. If you recognize how you do that, you can then address those issues. This allows you to make the transition easier from where you are to where you want to be.
Ways You Resist
1. You're rebelling. When you're forced to do something you don't really want to, even if it's in your best interests, resistance becomes rebellion. You think that rebelling puts you in control, but the opposite is true. If you're rebelling, you're handing over control to the opposition.
For instance, many smokers use cigarettes as a way to rebel, and resist quitting for that reason. This is true even when they know smoking is hurting them. One way to turn that attitude around is to rebel against cigarettes, which will turn the negative habit of smoking into a healthy behavior. Using that idea, how could you use your rebellion for your benefit?
2. Most people dislike being told what they "should" do. Or they feel guilty when they don't live according to what they think they "ought to" do. Generally, instead of being compliant, they avoid those injunctions, even if it's what they want for themselves.
For instance, you know you "should" exercise for your health. You whip yourself for not doing so, but it's easier to just sit on the couch. Or you know eating less sugar is better for you, but it's much more satisfying to indulge. You may feel guilty about your behavior, but you still repeat the negative activity. Instead of "shoulding" on yourself, focus on the benefits you'd receive by taking the action you've been ignoring.
3. Denial can be a coping strategy when there's been a significant loss. It gives you time to absorb and process what's happened, prior to adjusting to the change. But if you use this strategy in your everyday life, it will sabotage you at every level. You resent what's necessary, and pretend that it doesn't matter. But when you ignore a necessary step or action, it blocks what you're trying to accomplish.
For instance, if you want to lose weight, but reject that you need to eat less. No matter what you do, you'll not be able to achieve your ideal weight. A business person who thinks they can keep all the details of dozens of orders their orders in their head will have a hard time meeting deadlines and being successful. Before you can move forward, you have to accept reality and what is necessary. Instead of being dismissive, shift your attitude to it being your choice to take your next steps.
How do you normally resist moving forward? Learn this and it will give you important information so you know when life is pushing you to change and when you're combating change. When you encounter resistance, dig into your motivation and focus on what you really want. When you shift your attention from resisting change to embracing the benefits it will bring, you'll be able to adjust your course and make progress.
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
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As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.